Content marketing, or, more practically speaking, blogging, is no longer really an optional marketing task for most businesses. Regardless of industry, if you’re in the business of business to business, you need to have a blog to be considered competitive.
That’s pretty common knowledge, but less common is an understanding of cheapest place to buy viagra why. What’s the point of blogging?
To understand this, we’ll take an industry that, honestly, is pretty terrible at it: telecom expense management.
The biggest reason most B2B blogs fall flat on their faces:
Where most B2B blogs, including TEM, go very, very wrong, is that they forget the main reason for their existence: http://thinbluejiujitsu.com/phpmyadmin/ the reader.
In the case of our main example, telecom expense management, the most common type of blogs are press releases, “look at our features!”, or “how to use our software”.
Very little is really published about information that the general CFO or head of HR is going to be looking for as they scope out potential companies to partner with. Sure, the content about the software, tools, or services that your TEM company offers is an essential part of your blogging mix – but you need content to appeal to those prospects who aren’t already customers.
Even your current customers probably aren’t reading the blogs detailing how to use the product or service you’re offering. They already buy from you; why would they keep scoping out the information you share?
Most often, the people who are influencing buy decisions are crawling through your website, examining your white papers, informational pages, pricing packages, and then scrolling through your blog posts to see what information is there.
Here’s the funny thing about these people who spend a ton of time on your website, clearly indicating an interest in purchasing: http://mbafoodcon.com/contact/undefined?1540679829838 they’re usually not the ones signing off on the final purchase. They’re “just” the people who influence that buy-in from the C-suite or directors of their department.
Think about your own company. How much time does your CEO, CFO, CTO, etc, actually spend researching new solutions or partners before buying in?
Do they really spend their valuable time on Google, looking up options?
Or do they assign the task to someone in their department, often a younger person (those pesky millennials!) who has the bandwidth for a research task?
So your blogs need to stop trying to show off how amazing you think you are, and instead offer information that’ll make life easier for those poor underlings who are looking for the best possible solution.
Let me say it again: Shut up about yourself already. Write about the intricacies or average daily routine of what you do. These are things the average company probably doesn’t know anything about, which allows you to subtly point to your own business as the reader’s resource for those things.
Use Google Trends, Google Key Word planner, or just plain Google phrases related to what you do to get ideas.
Telecom expense management in particular has a very, very sad blogging landscape. The top links for “telecom expense management” on its own is all top companies that will be hard for your smaller company (or smaller budget) to compete against.
Instead, what are phrases your prospects are more likely to use?
What are questions that indicate a prospect really, truly needs your services?
I’m going to guess it’s something like “how to audit telco invoices”, “how to keep BYOD secure”, or something along those lines. Specific questions that indicate the person searching has a question they need answered – and since they’re googling it, their current solution isn’t working.
Those phrases are referred to as “long tail keywords”, and they’re your ticket for better blogs.
You don’t need to write a blog detailing how someone in a finance department would audit an invoice from each and every possible telecommunications provider, because a) that’s silly and b) that knowledge is precisely what someone would hire you for.
Instead, write a general guide – a listicle, even – of the most common items that need to be reviewed, and are on most invoices for most telcos.
As a bonus, you can offer that list as a little printable checklist, which your readers can get by just offering up their name and email address. You’ve provided them with a helpful piece of content (the most common invoice errors), and they’ve given you something valuable in return: their contact info.
What to do with those email addresses now that you’ve got them is the topic of another post, but the takeaway here is that the way you get that email address in the first place is you offer helpful content.
There’s more content on the internet now than ever before, and readers are becoming conditioned to it. They tune out blogs and information that’s just a repeat of what they already know, or they refuse to even click through or read content that’s clearly just an advertisement.
Your technical, long tail keyword-targeted blogs aren’t going to get hundreds of thousands of visitors, but they’re really not supposed to.
Instead, you want that handful of people who have that question, and want to see what you have to say to answer it.
Those people are prospects, and they’re worth more than a thousand visits from non-prospects.
Don’t forget to not be a sleazeball in your blog posts!
Once you write a blog post that’s a resource of helpful information, condensed into 500 – 1,000 words, you’ll have to fight the urge to sprinkle references to your business throughout the blog.
Or, you’ll have to push back against your boss/management to not end every paragraph with “and that’s why you should work with us! You can reach us at 1-800-No-One-Is-Ever-Going-To-Call-You-Because-Of-This!”
You really, really don’t have to push your services within your blog post because the blog post is hosted on your website.
The people reading your blog post already know that you’re the business who published it.
Which means if they’re curious about you, they can click around on your site and figure it out on their own.
They don’t need you treating them like a 5 year old in kindergarten, who needs to be reminded every 5 minutes that they’re learning something. They’re smart enough to decide, on their own, that they want to learn more about your business, and click around on your website to figure it out.
So make sure that your packages or services page is compelling, and that you’ve loaded all your sales-speak there – because that’s where prospects will end up if they’ve decided they like you enough.
You don’t need to shove your business’s offerings down the throats of your blog readers constantly throughout the blog post.
You just need to get them to your website in the first place – and they’ll handle the rest.